Sentencing Today In Enfield Fraud

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/16/2016 12:07:19 AM

Enfield — Town Manager Steve Schneider plans to appear in federal court today to deliver a victim impact statement in the sentencing of a Massachusetts fund manager whose fraud case led to the freezing of $300,000 of the town’s reserve funds.

The manager, Daniel Thibeault, pleaded guilty in March to securities fraud and obstruction of justice over a scheme to make fake loans from his investment company, GL Capital Partners, that went into his own pocket.

Enfield put a fifth of its capital reserve money into the GL Beyond Income Fund, which offered “direct access to a portfolio of high credit quality consumer debt predominantly from young professionals,” according to court documents.

The town’s money has been frozen since legal proceedings against Thibeault began, and although the assets remain out of reach for now, Schneider said, “Thursday’s a big day — it’s the sentencing.”

It is unclear when Enfield will get its money back — if ever. The U.S. District Court in Massachusetts in April ordered Thibeault to forfeit $15.3 million, the proceeds of his illegal activities, and is working to track down that money.

That search may extend as far as the Philippines, according to a letter that GL Capital Partners’ trustees recently distributed to shareholders.

The June 8 letter expresses concern that Thibeault still may have access to money in the Southeast Asian country where one of his companies had an office, and says that the U.S. government, Philippines government and the fund’s attorneys have been working to recapture those assets.

Enfield also will have to wait for the resolution of a civil case before the funds are released.

“While the criminal side is certainly important, it’s not going to be the only thing that determines whether — or when — we get our money back,” Schneider said.

Thibeault, a 1998 Dartmouth College graduate, allegedly took out loans from his company in the names of many unsuspecting people, including a former roommate. Now, the company is gathering victim statements in an effort to secure the maximum possible sentence for Thibeault.

“Our legal team sent the court the victim letters with additional background information to try and influence the judge to give Thibeault at least 15 years,” GL’s trustees said in their shareholder letter. “If Thibeault gets only eight to 12 years, we believe it will be a slap in the face to us victims.”

Thibeault’s conviction for securities fraud could earn him up to 30 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million.

On the obstruction of justice conviction, he faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is higher.

Meanwhile, Enfield’s Trustees of Trust Funds, an elected board of volunteers charged with managing the town’s trusts and capital reserves, have been considering obtaining professional help.

A request for proposals went out to financial advisers late last year, with a Jan. 20 deadline for submissions, and Schneider said interviews had taken place, though papers for a formal hire hadn’t crossed his desk.

The listing said the trustees hoped to engage an adviser by Jan. 31.

None of the three trustees could be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The job posting also invited applicants to “share with the Trustees any philosophies or recommendations” regarding their duties, although Schneider wasn’t able to say whether the trustees had made any revisions to their policies.

“They recognize that investments carry risks, some greater than others, and that they should seek to minimize risk,” he said of the trustees.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the U.S. District Court in Boston.

Rob Wolfe can be reached at rwolfe@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.




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